Faegre Baker Daniels
|No. of offices||13|
|No. of attorneys||Over 750|
|Major practice areas||General Practice|
|Key people||Tom Froehle, Managing Partner|
Gina Kastel, Chief Operating Partner
|Date founded||January 1, 2012 (merger)|
1863 (Baker & Daniels)
1886 (Faegre & Benson)
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP (/ˈfeɪgriː ˈbeɪkər ˈdænjəlz/ (help·info)), also known as FaegreBD, is a full-service international law firm, and one of the 75 largest law firms headquartered in the United States. The firm, which has a strong presence in the Midwestern United States, was formed on January 1, 2012, as the combination of Faegre & Benson LLP and Baker & Daniels LLP. Faegre & Benson was established in Minneapolis in 1886 (originally as "Cobb & Wheelwright") and had grown to be the largest law firm in the Twin Cities. Baker & Daniels was established in Indianapolis as Hendricks & Hord in 1863, and became the second-largest firm in Indiana (behind competing Barnes & Thornburg). The two firms combined on January 1, 2012, and began business operations as Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. As a full-service international law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP provides legal counseling and litigation to a wide range of clients across many practice areas. In addition, Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, the firm's national advisory and advocacy practice, advises clients public and private clients with interdisciplinary consulting services. The combined firm employs more than 800 lawyers and consultants in offices throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Faegre Baker Daniels was formed in 2012 by the combination of two Midwest firms, each with its own history stretching back more than a century.
Faegre & Benson
Faegre & Benson was founded in Minneapolis as Cobb & Wheelwright during 1863 by Albert Cobb and John Wheelwright. The two men had studied law together at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. It was not until decades later that John Barthell Faegre and John Benson, who would become namesakes of the firm, joined the practice. John Benson became a partner in 1914, after serving as a clerk. In 1923, George Hoke, Claude Krause and John Barthell Faegre joined the firm, which was renamed Cobb, Wheelwright Hoke & Benson. Following the accidental death of Wheelwright in 1927, the firm became Cobb, Hoke, Benson, Krause & Faegre.
Faegre and Benson, who first met in 1909 as opposing players in a college football game, became up-and-coming leaders of the firm. When Hoke and two associates departed in 1938, the firm was reorganized as Faegre, Benson & Krause. On the death of Krause the following year, it became Faegre & Benson in 1940. The firm grew modestly until 1959, when a reorganization of the firm's management structure and new strategic initiatives put the firm on a growth path. That growth was accompanied by changes in the needs of its clients and the evolution of global business. As a result, new practices emerged in areas such as health care, intellectual property and mass tort. Faegre & Benson opened Colorado offices in Boulder and Denver in 1985. In 1990, Faegre & Benson became the first national law firm to establish an office in Des Moines, Iowa. Then, the firm opened an office in London in 1995 and an office in Shanghai in 2001. By the time it announced its merger with Baker & Daniels, it had already become the largest law firm in Minnesota and had been one of the 100 largest law firms in the United States, with well-known clients such as Target, Pfizer, Wells Fargo and 3M.
Baker & Daniels
Baker & Daniels was founded as Hendricks & Hord in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1863. Then-U.S. Senator Thomas A. Hendricks, who later served as Governor of Indiana and Vice President of the United States under Grover Cleveland, partnered with Oscar Hord, a former Indiana Attorney General, to create the new firm. The first Baker at the firm was Conrad Baker, who also served as Governor of Indiana. Later, Albert Baker, the son of Conrad Baker, and Edward Daniels, the first Daniels at the firm, joined the practice. After going through several name changes, the firm became known as Baker & Daniels in 1888. After that, Joseph Daniels, the son of Edward Daniels, joined the firm.
Through the years, Baker & Daniels has expanded. In 1976, the firm established an office in Washington, D.C. The Fort Wayne, Indiana, office opened in 1983. In the 1990s, Baker & Daniels continued to expand. The South Bend, Indiana, office opened in 1990, followed by the Elkhart, Indiana, office in 1993. In 1998, the firm’s first overseas office was opened in China. In 2000, Baker & Daniels opened its 96th Street office in Indianapolis. As part of a long-term growth strategy, Baker & Daniels consolidated its practices in North Central Indiana into a regional model in 2007 by transferring operations in Elkhart to the South Bend office. Then in 2008, the firm opened a new South Bend office. Baker & Daniels expanded its presence in Chicago with the opening of a new law office in 2008.
While Baker & Daniels was expanding the reach of its legal practice, it was also extending the scope of its services with various consulting practices, which would eventually become Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting following the combination of the two law firms. Sagamore Associates (also known over time as Gogol & Associates or B&D Sagamore) was formed in Washington, D.C. in 1985 to assist the firm's clients with federal relations issues. In the 1990s, a second subsidiary company called Capitol Direct (later B&D Quorum) was formed in D.C. to assist clients through grassroots advocacy, direct marketing and public affairs efforts. At the turn of the millennium, a third consulting practice was added when Baker & Daniels formed Aventor, a global medical technology consulting firm. Each of these three practices were combined in 2006 to create one company, B&D Consulting. B&D Consulting expanded its national services to the property tax industry with the addition of the B&D Equity Property Tax Group in Chicago.
Notable lawyers associated with the legacy firm Baker & Daniels have included Evan Bayh was a Baker & Daniels partner before his election to the U.S. Senate. Other former partners include Stephen Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis; Pam Carter, the first African-American female State Attorney General in the country; and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a firm partner before taking a senior position at Eli Lilly and Company. One former partner is and another was a Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. Jack Swarbrick, a former Baker & Daniels partner, became athletic director at the University of Notre Dame in 2008, and Fred Glass, another former partner at Baker & Daniels, became athletic director at Indiana University at the start of 2009.
Combination and Beyond
Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels were not immune to the 2008–2012 global recession, which led to changes in the legal economy. Firms like Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels had to resort to salary cuts, reduced or delayed hiring and even staff layoffs in some cases. While the firms weathered the storm, they began to explore ways to adapt to the changing legal market and, on August 11, 2011, the two firms announced they were exploring a potential combination. The combination was approved two months later and on January 1, 2012, Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels began business operations as Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. The combination was presented as a merger of equals - the combined firm has no official "headquarters" and the leaders of each legacy firm retained a management role. Legacy Faegre chair Andrew Humphrey became managing partner of the combined firm, while legacy Baker & Daniels CEO Thomas Froehle, Jr. became its chief operating partner. Nonetheless, legacy Faegre - the larger firm - was reputed to be the "dominant" firm in the merger.
On July 1, 2013, Faegre Baker Daniels opened a Silicon Valley office, the firm's first new location since the January 2012 merger. The office is located in East Palo Alto, California, and is initially offering intellectual property services. Faegre Baker Daniels has announced plans to add food and agriculture litigation, immigration and privacy law capabilities to the office in the future. In March 2017, Faegre Baker Daniels opened a Los Angeles office, the firm's newest location. The office offers business, employment, intellectual property and product liability litigation and consulting.
Faegre Baker Daniels reportedly represented USA Gymnastics in the investigation of former team doctor Larry Nassar and participated in reporting Nassar to the FBI during the summer of 2015.
Faegre Baker Daniels is a full-service law firm, with lawyers specializing in the following areas of law, among others:
Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting
The firm also includes Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, a division based in Washington, D.C. that acts as a national advisory and advocacy firm. Originally formed in 1985 to act as a full-service lobbying group, it became an important division of legacy firm Baker & Daniels as its scope grew to include grassroots advocacy, direct marketing and public affairs efforts, global medical technology consulting and advice on property tax issues. During this time, the group underwent various name changes (including Gogol & Associates, Sagamore Associates and B&D Consulting). The division was finally rebranded FaegreBD Consulting in connection with the 2012 combination, and now includes approximately fifty professionals who provide interdisciplinary services for private and public sector clients across the country from offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Indianapolis. FaegreBD Consulting markets expertise in the following sectors:
- Communities & Local Governments
- Economic Development
- Energy & Environment
- Equity Property Tax
- Federal Government Relations
- Health & Biosciences
- Higher Education
- Insurance & Financial Services
- Strategic Communications
Size and Reach
Faegre Baker Daniels has more than 750 legal and consulting professionals in fifteen offices worldwide. These offices include:
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- 96th Street
- Boulder, Colorado
- Chicago, Illinois
- Denver, Colorado
- Des Moines, Iowa
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
- East Palo Alto (Silicon Valley), California
- Los Angeles, California
- South Bend, Indiana
- Washington, D.C.
Notable Rankings and Awards
Third party recognition for Faegre Baker Daniels (and, prior to the 2012 combination, each of its legacy firms) and its attorneys and consulting professionals includes:
- Ranked among the top 20 law firms in the United States for client service by The BTI Consulting Group  (2009)U
- U.S. News & World Report "Best Law Firms" (2014)
- Ranked top corporate law firm in Minneapolis among general counsel surveyed by Corporate Board Member (2009)
- Recognized as a client relationship leader by Fortune 1000 corporate counsel surveyed by The BTI Consulting Group  (2009)
- Ranked by the Legal 500 directory among the top U.S. law firms in various practice areas, including finance, middle-market M&A, real estate and construction, and previous recognition for First Amendment litigation and counseling and domestic tax.
- Ranked among the top U.S. law firms for certain practices in Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and nationwide by Chambers and Partners. The firm's UK office has also received recognition.
- Awarded a score of 100 percent by the Human Rights Campaign in its annual Corporate Equality Index, which measures how U.S. companies treat their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and clients, making it one of their "Best Places to Work"  (2004–2010, 2012-17)
- . The firm is among the 75 largest firms in the U.S., based on gross revenue.
- FaegreBD.com - Cities and Office Locations
- David Thomas, "Faegre Drinker Makes Its Debut, Pressing Size as an Advantage," The American Lawyer (Feb. 3, 2020), https://www.law.com/americanlawyer/2020/02/03/faegre-drinker-makes-its-debut-pressing-size-as-an-advantage/
- Gugin, p. 158–159
- Above the Law (blog), Nationwide Salary Cut Watch: Don’t Forget About Faegre & Benson (September 16, 2009)
- Brian Baxter, Baker & Daniels and Faegre & Benson Confirm Merger Talks, Am Law Daily, August 11, 2011.
- Press Release - Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels To Become Faegre Baker Daniels (October 12, 2011).
- Press Release - Faegre Baker Daniels Begins Business Operations (January 3, 2012).
- Faegre & Benson, Baker & Daniels Say Their Merger Is Officially On, Am Law Daily (October 12, 2011).
- Above the Law (blog), Law Firm Merger Mania: Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels Make It Official (October 12, 2011).
- Faegre.com - Practices & Industries
- FaegreBDC.com - Sectors and Industries Served
- The BTI Consulting Group – Top Client Service
- The BTI Consulting Group – Client Relationship
- Legal 500 - Faegre Baker Daniels profile
- Chambers and Partners - Faegre Baker Daniels
- Human Rights Campaign – Corporate Equality Index - Faegre Baker Daniels Profile